Type 1 diabetes is most often diagnosed in children and young adults and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. With type 1, usually the body develops antibodies that attack its own pancreas, rendering it non-functioning so that it cannot produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get sugar out of the bloodstream and into the muscle cells. Treatment for people who have type 1 diabetes must include the use of insulin. Considerable research in, and limited use of, different forms of transplant are underway.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and is defined by the body’s resistance to the actions of insulin. The pancreas is making insulin, but since the insulin can’t work well at the site of the muscle cell, the pancreas has to over-produce insulin to get necessary effect. After time, this leads to a “burning out” of the pancreas. Treatment for Type 2 diabetes must include healthy eating and regular physical activity as its basis. Since the goal of treatment is to preserve as much pancreas function as long as possible, early addition of medications is often desirable.
Our diabetes specialist, Becky Wittenburg, has been working with the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes, as well as early detection and prevention of diabetes, for more than 15 years. If you are concerned about diabetes or detecting your potential for developing diabetes, ask your provider for more information.